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Glaciomarine sedimentation in Disraeli Fiord, high arctic Canada

Marine Geology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0025-3227(90)90100-x


Abstract Disraeli Fiord represents a glaciomarine environment unique to the north coast of Ellesmere Island, featuring floating glacier tongues, multi-year landfast sea ice and a strongly stratified water body which results from enclosure of the fiord by Ward Hunt Ice Shelf. It is a very low energy depositional environment, even at sites proximal to glaciers. Sediment enters the fiord by interflow and is deposited through suspension settling. Ice rafting is precluded by the year-round sea ice cover. Sedimentation rates in the inner fiord since about 7000 yrs B.P. are estimated to be 5–10 cm/ka, a reflection of the limited sediment influx from the cold-based glaciers which contact the fiord. Changes in sediment structure through the Holocene reflect changes in the rate and process of sediment input as well as changes in fiord circulation, all of which relate to regional climate. During deglaciation (early Holocene) sedimentation rates were orders of magnitude greater than at present. Subglacial meltwater was the dominant source of inflow, with sediment transported in turbid plumes as over- or interflow and deposited through suspension settling. This is supportive of other studies indicating that a pronounced climatic amelioration led to warm-based glaciers at this time.

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